Clean Water Practices

Clean Water Practices

Clean water practices share the goal of improved water quality in the Upper Big Sioux River watershed. The cost share programs and best management practices are designed to be as flexible as possible, working within guidelines established by the granting agencies. Staff will provide all technical assistance possible in the implementation of these practices.

Riparian Area Management

RAM buffers waterways, riparian zones along stream banks and the river, land between cropland and wetlands, and highly erodible pasture lands that run beside the Big Sioux River and its major tributaries. The purpose is to contain silt and nutrients, preventing erosion into the water body. The practice can be a 35% bonus on top of a CRP contract or stand alone based on CP-30 requirements. Property with major tributary or Big Sioux River frontage receives the highest priority for cost share.

area along river or stream protected from livestock and erosionfencing protects stream from livestock manure erosion

 Grassed Waterways

Grassed waterways will be designed, shaped and seeded where gully erosion is evident and recurring. Producers will be encouraged to integrate other conservation measures with the waterway and will do yearly maintenance to increase the effectiveness and lifespan of the waterways.

water eroding fieldgrass strip protecting field

grass strip in field in fall

 Small Ponds

Dams will be designed to slow water movement and reduce sediment loading from excessive runoff or spring melt. Most dam structures will be in the steeper-sloped uplands with small watersheds. Dugout structures are more conducive to less-sloped terrain with larger watersheds. Producers will be encouraged to use these structures to complement pasture grazing management or other soil loss prevention practices and may be used for livestock and wildlife water. Dugout structures are eligible for clean out cost share with the requirement that the dugout be silted in to less than 5 feet of water.

small dam to retain waterpond to hold water for livestock and wildlife

Animal Nutrient (Waste) Management

Animal nutrient management systems can include diverting clean water from the feedlot area or alternate sources of water. Feedlots deliver quantities of nitrates and phosphates to area waterways during spring melt and large rain events. As manure decays, bacteria convert usable nitrogen to nitrate, which is easily lost to water. Phosphates attach to soil particles which washes into the water. Manure must be managed both when applied and when stored.

Clean water diverted around livestock pasture liquid animal waste evaporation pond

 Eligibility / Signup / Cost Share

The land must be located within the watershed boundaries, located in northeast South Dakota, from the east to west approximately between 448th Avenue and 459th Avenue, and north / south between 144th Street and 179th Street. Complete the general practice signup form and submit it to the project.

Depending on the practice, cost share is available. Contact the project for more information.